Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand

”And he looked long at her, rather embarrassed, his rigid respectability fighting against the waves of amorous that had begun to flow in his blood” (Anand, 22)

I would hope that a priest would be embarrassed to look at a young girl in such a longing way. This kind of creeped me out a little bit.

The Postmaster

“The shimmer of the freshly washed leaves, and the banked-up remnants of the retreating rain-clouds were sights to see; and the postmaster was watching them and thinking to himself: ‘Oh, if only some kindred soul were near – just one loving human being whom I could hold near to my heart!’” (Tagore, 163)

The imagery of this passage is amazing. The postmaster also doesn’t realize that he does have someone he could hold near, he is just too preoccupied to see that Ratan truly does care for him and want to be there for him.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

“So gradually, she pressed her teeth together and learned to hush. The spirit of marriage kept the bedroom and took to living in the parlor. It was there to shake hands whenever company came to visit, but it never went back inside the bedroom again. So she put something in there to represent the spirit like a Virgin Mary image in a church. The bed was no longer a daisy-field for her and Joe to play in. It was  place where she went android down when she was sleepy and tired” (Hurston, 71)

This passage really got to me. She married Joe for love, for something more than just chopping wood and doing what she was told. Unfortunately, Joe is giving Janie the same life she was running away from. Now, Janie has to live as someone who isn’t even fully there, isn’t even truly a person.

The use of the third person narrator mixed in with dialogue from Janie herself shows a very interesting relationship. Although the story is narrated in third person, the reader is able to mostly see things through Janie’s point of view. The times where Janie isn’t speaking herself through her own dialogue, like the passage above, shows how the narrator is able to speak for her because she is at a place in her life where she isn’t allowed to. Because of the descriptions and tellings of the narrator, the reader gets more of an insight into Janie’s life and is able to empathize with her more, her being unable to speak for herself at certain points in the novel.

Cane by Jean Toomer

“For a long while she was nothing more to me than one of those skirted beings whom boys at a certain age disdain to play with. Just how I came to love her, timidly, and with secret blushes, I do not know” (Toomer, 57).

I love how the narrator of this piece describes the woman he loves as someone who he and every other boy thought of as a nobody. He is unsure of how he fell in love with her but he knows he does. I want to know why he felt this way before falling in love with her.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

“… He patted her arms, took them from around his body, and kissed her left wrist between glove and sleeve. He put his hands on her shoulders, turned her to face the door, and released her with a little push. ‘Beat it,’ he ordered.” (Hammett, 104)

Another moment of intimacy ruined by Spade’s demeaning actions towards women. The women of this novel are entranced by Spade’s brooding demeanor and fake affection, when he himself couldn’t care less about them.

“Whose Body?” by Dorothy Sayers

“‘I’m sure it must have been uncommonly distressin’,’ said Lord Peter, sympathetically, ‘especially comin’ like that before breakfast. Hate anything tiresome happenin’ before breakfast. Takes man at such a confounded disadvantage, what?'” (Sayers, 5)

The dialect in this passage is very interesting, considering Lord Peter is of higher class and might be thought of as someone who speaks very properly, using big words and phrases that are uncommon to the common person.

As I Lay Dying (2)

“Darl is our brother, our brother Darl. Our brother Darl in a cage in Jackson where, his grimed hands lying light in the quiet interstices, looking out he foams.

‘Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.'” (Faulkner, 254)

Throughout the novel, Darl’s chapters sometimes depict instances that are important to the story where he, as a character, isn’t there. It’s as if he is narrating these scenes so the reader has a better explanation and more of an understanding on what is happening. This last chapter of his plays on this because Darl makes it out to be like he is narrating something that he isn’t there for. However, Darl is there, physically. As for mentally? I’m not so sure.

A Woman’s Feelings in Faulkner

“If I could just feel it, it would be different, because I would not be alone. But if I were not alone, everybody would know it. And he could do so much for me, and then I would not be alone. Then I could be all right alone.” (Faulkner 58-59)

This passage from Dewey Dell’s perspective resonates a strong feeling of dependence from me. Because she is a woman, she feels the desire to have a man fix her problems for her. She refuses to be alone because everyone would know and judge her for it. If the man that she is talking about were to do something for her, and it doesn’t have to be a big thing either, she will not feel alone anymore. It makes me upset to feel that she can’t do things on her own and feel whole, she has to have a man to help her.

Finally Sticking Up for Oneself – Portrait

“-I’m a simple person, said Davin. You know that. When you told me that night in Harcourt Street those things about your private life, honest to God, Stevie, I was not able to eat my dinner. I was quite bad. I was awake a long time that night. Why did you tell me those things?

-Thanks, said Stephen. You mean I am a monster.

-No, said Davin, but I wish you had not told me.

A tide began to surge beneath the calm surface of Stephen’s friendliness.

-This race and this country and this life produced me, he said. I shall express myself as I am.” (Joyce, 170)

Throughout the novel, Stephen is in the process of figuring out who he is. He questions his abilities as a brother, a son, a student, a man devoted to religion, a lover, etc. But, finally, Stephen is finally proud of himself in a way that he is able to talk about his hardships and face who he is as a person without the fear of being judged by anyone, whether it be his classmates, his professors, or God himself.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

“The confession came only from Stephen’s lips and, while they spoke the words, a sudden memory had carried him to another scene called up, as if by magic, at the moment when he had noted the faint and cruel dimples at the corners of Heron’s smiling lips and had felt the familiar stroke of the cane against his calf and had heard the familiar word of admonition: Admit.” (Joyce, 65)

I think that this is a pivotal point in showing how Stephen is maturing throughout the novel because in the first chapter, he would jump from memory to memory with no warning or explanation. By him doing that, it showed the reader that he was at a younger age mentally. With the narrator actually announcing that a new memory of Stephen’s was going to be told, it shows that Stephen is starting to mature by having his thoughts more planned out and precise.

“The Mark on the Wall” by Virginia Woolf

“How shocking, and yet how wonderful it was to discover that these real things, Sunday luncheons, Sunday walks, country houses, and tablecloths were not entirely real, were indeed half phantoms and the damnation which listed the disbeliever in them was only a sense of illegitimate freedom.” (Woolf, pg 84)

What I like about this quote is how the narrator describes normal things which one would think is something of free will or choice as things that aren’t that at all. They are more like the rules that everyone should follow to have a better and normal life, not one that they choose willingly.

The Middle Years

“The gentleman had his head bent over a book and was occasionally brought to a stop by the charm of this volume, which, as Dencombe could perceive even at a distance, had a cover intensely red. Then his companions, going a little farther, waited for him to come up, poking their parasols into the beach, looking around them at the sea and sky, and clearly sensible of the beauty of the day. To these things the young man with the book was still more clearly indifferent; lingering, credulous, absorbed, he was an object of envy to an observer from whose connection with literature all such artlessness had faded.” (pg 610)

What really struck me about this passage was how the author described the young man as an object of envy to anyone who couldn’t grasp the passion and art of literature anymore. It makes me feel bad for Dencombe because he feels as if he is loosing his touch with literature, even with his own work. He wants to be like the young man again, he wants to have a second chance at life to be able to appreciate the simple likings of a novel, but both he and the reader can see that he is loosing his touch.